Of Exercise and Self Care

After high school where we had gym pretty much every day and I did basketball and a year of cross country, regular exercise wasn't a part of my life. That's not to say that I didn't do anything. I did a few intramural sports in college, an ultimate frisbee group in seminary, and plenty of big games while working at camp. But regular exercise was not a part of my life. 

But a few years ago I started realizing I needed to do something more. It was hard to fit something regular in as a poor stay-at-home dad. I woould get in a bike ride when I could, but they were often with the kids which didn't amount to much real exercise. 

I also noticed I was getting more depressed during the dark winter months north of the 45th parallel here. So about three years ago we decided to get a YMCA membership for the winter months. I took the boys after school a few times a week for swimming after school. When they were in swim lessons or on the occasional time I'd get to go by myself on a weekend, I'd do some time on the stationary bikes or an eliptical. Andd in the summer months I'd try to swim and bike as much as possible. 

I still try and bike as much as possible, though that hasn't happened since early November I think. But my apartment building has a clubhouse with an indoor pool and a small exercise room. When the boys are with me, we try and go over to swim every other day. When they're not with me I try and go over to the exercise room as often as I can. Along with some weights, there's a treadmill and an elliptical.

I learned in high school that running and I do not get along well. And I'm fine with that. Running is not the only form of exercise despite how prevalent it seems to be. Anyway, I use the elliptical. It fools me into "running" enough that I don't mind it. I've been doing between 4-5 miles in the half hour I usually do. 

I think the electronics help. I can challenge myself: going further, maintaining a certain speed, getting my heartrate into key zones, etc. It's probably a guy thing, but that helps me I think.

I'm reminded that Paul tells us in the Bible that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. In his time there was debate over whether or not the physical mattered for the spiritual realm. Paul insisted that you can't separate the physical from the spiritual. God created it all. Andd since the Holy Spirit lives in us, we need to take care of ourselves. 

I still don't do the best. I know my eating habits--especially when I'm alone--need work. But I'm proud that I'm keeping it up and of my distance and rates I've been doing. It's not much to speak of, but it's still something to me. 

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